Supervisors deal with road issues, mental health help

VINTON – Road issues were the main topics for the Benton County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the courthouse in Vinton.

Christine Schwartz was at the meeting to discuss road maintenance for 29th Ave & 61st St Trl. She brought pictures of what she felt was washout on the road, which affects truck traffic. She is asking the culvert be extended at the t-intersection to make it better for turning trucks. The road is between Vinton and Shellsburg. Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek said the ditch was cleaned out so water could flow through it. Extending the culvert will affect the water flow. He added the weather last year affected a lot of culvert work. The county maintains that it is a good culvert, and drivers there need to learn to turn a corner. Supervisor Tracy Seeman said he was willing to look at it. Supervisor Gary Bierschenk said he would look at it too.

The county renewed a detour agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation for U.S. 218. Parizek said a DOT official had found that the agreement had expired in the middle of November. The DOT proposed renewing the agreement. They are hoping to have it completed it completed by the end of June. It was originally set for the end of January.

Parizek also gave an update on replacing lights at several intersections and well as dealing with mailboxes damaged by snow plows.

Other business

Rural Access Center manager Lindsay Upah and Sheriff Ron Tippett sought approval to spend Mental Health Fund Balance for a housing project with Willis Dady Homeless Services. Tippett said the goal is to fill mental health gaps. Upah said this helps people released from jail, by getting them to go where they supposed to go, instead of where they’re not supposed to go and into trouble. The access center then can help them get more permanent housing. Tippett stressed a plan will be brought to the board before anything is spent. Tippett and Upah also discussed a rural access satellite office in Belle Plaine.

Property taxes were abated on Parcel 03023625, which is the Herring Hotel property in Belle Plaine.

The board approved a request for quotations consulting services for the preparation and compilation of the Benton County Iowa Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update. It has to be updated every five years, according to Auditor Hayley Rippel. Emergency Management Director Scott Hansen explained what grant money is available, and possibly doing the work without a grant. Quotes are expected in March. It is a multi-jurisdictional plan for the county, cities and schools.

A land use hearing was set for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 9:16 a.m., for Wendling Quarries in Section 31, Harrison Township.

Chairman Richard Primmer was not at the meeting. Bierschenk presided.

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